The Tech Guy 177
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Saturday, September 10, 2005
I’ll be live from Alhambra on Saturday, 9/17 during the LA Department of Public Works E-Waste Roundup. Join me as I do the radio show from 11a-2p. Details at 888CleanLA.com.
- Tech News
- Chat Logs and Show Audio
A listener writes: Leo, I have ordered a Nano, but I hear it doesn’t work with firewire. What gives?
Leo answers: when space is at a premium it makes sense to only include one chipset: USB 2 - it’s supported by all Macs and most Windows PCs and works fine even with USB 1.1 connections.
The “father” of the Internet, Vint Cerf has left MCI to take a job as Internet Evangelist at Google.
Wants to add RAM to his Dell Dimension 4300 to speed up Dragon Dictate. Before you add RAM visit www.crucial.com and use their RAM selector. It will tell you how much RAM and what kind of RAM you can install in your computer. In this case you’re already maxed out at 512MB.
MGI sold it to Roxio. They still sell it for $30 but its much more feature laden that it was.
Nik from Australia writes: I recommend you see if Adobe Photoshop Album SE 3 will do what you need before spending a dime, because its a free download from Adobe that might just do what you need.
Good catch, Nik! You might also want to check out the free Picasa.
NOD32 does detect spyware and will block may spyware infections, but I also recommend using the Real Time Protection built-into Microsoft’s AntiSpyware.
You can use nLite to easily create a Windows XP + SP2 slipstreamed bootable CD. Such a method is to integrate the original unpatched version of Windows XP with the lastest Service Pack 2 so that it would be much easier the next time you reinstall XP (saves a lot of time too). Make sure you have .NET Framework installed and patched (JPEG security issue) to run nLite. You would need to have with you:
1. Original installation CD of Windows XP Home or Professional. 2. The full 266MB Windows XP Service Pack 2. (Better if you have the SP2 CD) 3. and of course a CD burner.
linkinnewtab adds: I like Autostreamer.
Ryan from Michigan adds: There is a great tutorial here from Maximum PC. It tells you everything you need to know.
question for wicki-experts: Anyone heard of issues with HP Pavilion notebook issues with viewing dvd movies? Tends to lock up in the middle of a movie or it won’t open the dvd at all. frustrating.
There was a new technology called SDP? that was highly touted, but it hasn’t emerged yet. Audioholics has a great article about HDTV display formats but I recommend LCD for smaller screen sizes and DLP for larger screens. The name of the new technology that is currently being researched by LG or Korea is ‘nanotube’ technology.
She has two copies of Acrobat on her system. Uninstall both then download and install the latest copy of Adobe Reader.
Jeff in Santa Ana adds - Each successive version of Adobe’s PDF reader becomes more and more bloated. Load times have become ridiculous. There is, however, a technique to speed up the process.
Karl in Los Angeles adds - Foxit Reader (free), a smaller and faster program, may be adequate for most PDF file display needs.
Boot up with your Recovery CD and reinstall Windows. Then throw out your PC and get a Mac.
Use WDS - but because the spec is so loose you often have to choose compatible routers. Here’s an excellent article describing how WDS works.
Tip from Adam Judis Computer Consulting… This is how we do it..
Step 1. Initial Setup
First of all you configure your main router which is physically connected to your broadband modem and and your pc and then make sure it is configured for DHCP (which is recommended) on the LAN side which in most cases it is by default. You will have to determine the connection type for your ISP, whether it is PPPOE, Dynamic IP, or Static IP. Contact your ISP for this info. Configure the wireless part of the router, setting the encryption type such as WEP or WPA and give it the SSID which is the name of the wireless network which will show up when viewing available wireless networks on your computer. Make a note of the channel setting. Check the DHCP starting and ending range, as you want to find the static IP addresses outside of the DHCP range. For example, on the Linksys, by default the DHCP range may start at “192.168.1.100″ and will assign 50 IP addresses starting from this point. We always use an IP for the second router below the starting range of IP addresses.
Step 2. Configuring the second router in bridged mode.
You will now have to disconnect the main wireless router from your pc temporarily and connect the second wireless router. Login to it and change the IP of it to one that is outside of the DHCP range. Assign it a static IP of say “192.168.1.10″. Give it a different SSID and change the channel to one that is different from the main router. If the channel is the same you will have problems such as dropped connections. Assigning it a different SSID is necessary to avoid conflicts and it is nice to know which router you are connecting to. Also set the encryption level on this router as well. I recommend using the same encryption as first router, this will not propose any conflict. Disconnect the second router and proceed to the next step
Step 3. Connectivity
Reconnect the main router to the broadband modem, cycle the power on the broadband modem after doing this. You will now have to run a cable from one of the 4 ports on the main router to one of the 4 ports on the second router (do not use the WAN ports on either router, but one of the 4 ports available, WAN ports are for connecting it to a broadband modem). Note, make sure the cable length between the 2 routers is not more the 250 feet. Also.. be sure to change the default passwords on both routers from the factory default for security purposes! Also you may consider MAC Address filtering on both routers for even better security. You would have to enter the hardware or MAC address of each network card that is accessing the wireless network. I do not advise doing this when setting up for the first time. Be sure to read up on this before trying it or you will not be able to connect any wireless devices to your network.
Now you should be able to connect wirelessly to either router with your laptop or wireless device. You will have to enter the security key to connect.
ps. Special thanx to Leo Laporte for making these tech forums available for collaboration!
XP reboots instead of shutting down. That happens when something is crashing hard on shutdown. The only things that can crash hard enough to force Windows to reboot are Windows itself and drivers. Chances are, since it’s on shutdown, it’s a background process or a driver. Shutdown all the background processes first, with CTL-ALT-DEL. If that doesn’t fix the problem you’ll want to replace your drivers. Start with the video driver.
Mike in Redlands adds – I had this same problem with a computer that I built. The problem was because I was using a PCI video card. When I changed to an AGP, the problem went away. It was an issue with my motherboard.
The AT&T voice synthesizer is amazing. They offer a developer’s kit, but I don’t know of any software that uses it yet.
Here is a link which is a text to speach reader WITH AT&T Natural voices Click 
[[http://www.naturalreaders.com/ | toc You can buy it and it includes the two voices as heard
in the demo.
Many other results can be found by visiting Click here -→ [[http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Att+natural+voice | toc This will give plenty of relating links..
Alan from Granada Hills
Try TextAloud other voices are available for it also.
This is a good text-to-speech http://www.nextup.com with pluggable voices.
2003 has all the features of ReadPlease 2003, and in addition you can add your own words and pronunciations, playback can start anywhere in a document and more…
I use ReadPlease Plus with these AT&T voices for my online classes and it works great!!
From L.A. nayan..re ATT voice
The ATT voices are commonly used for the visually impaired and persons with dyslexia and lazy people who don’t wan’t to read textbooks. The program I use to use was kurzweil, but the voices are so terrible, I opted to just read the damn thing.
Another TTS is Premier Assistive’s Text-to-Audio using ATT Natural Voices.
May not be applicable to question but for synthetic voice reproduction I enjoy Cepstral. [[http://www.cepstral.com/demos | toc . The voices integrate into nearly all aspects of the OS I use (sorry, not Windows so I can’t vouch for that). Using shortcut key it will speak highlighted text from virtually all applications. It’s also able to convert typed word into an audio file format of your choice (aiff → mp3) via an included command line tool.
I use the readrer in ZoomText 9.0 which sounds better to me than the ATT voices. The ZT reader voices can also be changed in speed and pitch, and pronuncation.
Leo was talking about text to speech and how it sounds like a recorded voice. It is recorded voices. How does it work? There are about 65 or 70 distinct sounds in English. “Th”, “sh”, long a, short a…each one of these is recorded and put together by software. Where software is heading is to change inflection. For example, “Hello?” sounds different than “Hello.” The question tone goes up in the question and down in the statement. Software makers are now recording two distinct sounds for each “o” sound. One is higher than the other.
Suzanne South San Francisco - NaturalReader
Great program. The free download has a robotic voice but the paid versions have the natural voices….. NaturalReader
You can’t unless you also have the video clips. The PPJ file itself only contains information about edits, transitions, titles, etc. - not the video.
Use RTF files instead of DOC files to email Word documents. RTF files are smaller, can’t transmit viruses (DOC files can and often do), and can be read by most word processors. RTF files maintain nearly all the formatting, too.
Steve Gibson takes DVD movies and TV shows and puts them on SD cards for watching on his Palm. He showed us how on Call for Help. Read his article here. One disclaimer: DVD Decrypter was put out of business a day or two after the segment. You can still find it on the net if you search, or use DVD Shrink instead. Also, the DiVX folks killed Dr. DiVX the day after the show, but they’re bringing it back as an opensource project. Meanwhile Steve says some people use a program called Gordian Knot for encoding. He recommends TCPMP for playback.
Nick in Temple City: The best way to encode a vob for your Palm is to use PocketDivx (http://divx.ppccool.com/). Once you set the paramenters for your device it is pretty much a one button encode. It works prefect every time and you have great control over the audio and video quality as well as the final mpg file size.
Matt Smith - Kevin, you need to take a look at FairUse (www.fairusewizard.com). Very solid program, very easy to use, and renders amazing results. I use it to convert my DVDs for viewing on my Dell Axim x50v. The 30 or so DVDs I’ve converted have all come out perfect. The audio and video is perfectly synced. I’ve tried Auto Gordian, and I was not impressed with the results. You’ll be impressed with FairUse. Spring for the full version ($12USD) for more customization than in the “Lite” version. Also, I’ve found that it works better with the DIVx 5.2.1 CODEC as opposed to the new DIVx 6.
Listen to our new podcast: Security Now! with Steve Gibson.
Windows crashes on boot. Press F8 as you boot and turn on the Bootlogger. Then startup. It will crash again. Restart in command line mode and read
C:\BOOTLOG.TXT. The last thing to start is the program or driver that crashed.
Bob in San Diego sez:
If you think it is a bad memory chip, try the Windows Memory Diagnostic